Flying to Hawaii: Big Island Tips and Private Charter Advice

by Hangar 7 Aviation

The youngest and largest of Hawaii’s tropical islands, the “Big Island” features all but four of the climate zones in the world — from wet tropical to polar tundra! Travelers can book a private charter to Hawaii to dodge the crowds at the commercial airports and kick off their trip in seamless, personalized style.

Anyone flying to Hawaii’s Big Island for a vacation, weekend getaway, or even for business will need to know where to eat and what to do in their free hours. We’re ready to serve up our best advice to make your trip one to remember.

Private Airports on the Big Island

While Hawaii boasts numerous airports across its many islands, there are three on the Big Island that anyone flying to Hawaii’s Big Island should definitely consider.

  • Kona International Airport (KOA): Seven miles Northwest of Kailua-Kona on the Western side of the Big Island is Kona International Airport. This major hub accommodates all manner of domestic, transpacific, and private flights.
  • Hilo International Airport (ITO): Hilo is on the Eastern shore, and most interisland and general aviation flights pass through this major Big Island airport.
  • Waimea-Kohala Airport (MUE): The much smaller and less busy Waimea-Kohala Airport is 32 miles from Kona and 43 miles from Hilo, well outside of the bustling Eastern and Western hubs on the Big Island’s Northern reaches. The convenient location 2 miles southwest of Waimea’s scenic attractions and only a half hour from Waikoloa Resort make it a perfect choice for trips to the North end. 

What To Do On the Big Island

  • Visit Papakōlea Green Sand Beach: The green olivine crystals in its sand make Papakōlea one of the only green sand beaches in the world! It’s on the southern tip of the Big Island, and requires a hike (2.5 miles from the parking lot), so plan ahead and enjoy the once in a lifetime payoff of this unique, remote, and breathtaking beach.
  • Soak in the Big Island’s Hot Springs: Head to the windward (East) side of Hawaii’s Big Island to check out the stunning and verdant Puna Coastline, home to numerous hot springs and ponds like those at Ahalanui Park and the Pohoiki Springs. Spend your day relaxing in a bath only Mother Nature can prepare!
  • Attend a Luau: There are tons of spectacular luau shows to choose from on the Big Island, but we recommend the Island Breeze Luau right near the resorts in Kona on the West side of the island. It happens every Tuesday and Sunday, along with a dinner buffet and open bar including a delicious Kalua pig.

The Best Restaurants on the Big Island

  • Manta: Legendary for breakfast buffets, Manta also features a fantastic dinner menu — including a Macadamia Nut Encrusted Mahi Mahi that’s tender, sweet, and honestly to-die-for. Head over for fine dining that also lets you soak in the open-air experience on a patio that overlooks the waters of Kauna’oa Bay.
  • Hula Hulas: “EʻAI KAUA | A TASTE OF PARADISE,” they proclaim at the top of their menu. Hula Hulas is a casual, but carefully curated dining spot with a lively social atmosphere and plenty of affordable, authentic Hawaiian dishes with an eclectic twist. You’ll find it in Hilo, right on Reed’s Bay.
  • Merriman’s: There’s no better venue for Hawaiian regional cuisine than Merriman’s in Waimea. Foodies will salivate for the local ingredients that chef and owner Peter Merriman handcrafts into award-winning dishes and an elegant fine-dining experience you can’t pass up.

The Best Time to Visit the Big Island

Temperatures throughout the year are pretty consistent in Hawaii, mostly in the 70s and low 80s. Pricing and crowds will influence your travel decision for flying to Hawaii far more than the thermostat. The autumn shoulder season, from September to November, boasts the lowest rates for accommodations (and the Big Island can be relatively reasonably priced already). 

Prices uptick sharply from December to March, which makes the winter a season to avoid — unless you’re a surfing enthusiast and are coming for the excellent winter waves. Also keep in mind that the winter is Hawaii’s rainiest season.

The spring and summer are drier, but retain somewhat elevated room rates as Memorial Day trips and summer vacations are in full swing.

Book Your Private Charter to Hawaii With Hangar 7!

Our agents are always prepared to offer you advice and flexible travel arrangements as you prepare and book your private jet to Hawaii. Contact Hangar 7 Aviation today to start arranging the details of your trip!

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